The Liver Bird  

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Heysel: 29/05/1985

The Kop creates a mosaic spelling "friendship" in Italian...

On a day that should never be forgotten by Liverpool supporters, it is of utmost importance that we pay our respects to the 39 football fans that lost their lives and give our thoughts to the 600+ that were injured at that fateful final in 1985.

When Liverpool fans had objected to the choice of stadium for the European Cup final beforehand, due to several reasons, two of which were big concerns, firstly the stadium visibly appeared to be crumbling in sections and this raised questions on the safety of the structure, not only this but fans were worried that there had been a neutral section allocated, supposed to be for Belgian football fans (final was held in Brussels) but it didn't take a brain surgeon to realise that both Juventus fans and Liverpool fans would be able to buy tickets for the neutral area from touts meaning that the area would be mixed.

As tempers frayed and banter turned nasty both sets of fans turned violent, projectiles were thrown and eventually a section of Liverpool fans ran at a fence separating them from the Italians, as the Italians proceeded to turn away and run they were met with a wall blocking their escape, the wall tragically was one of the many parts of the stadium that was not safe, it collapsed on top of the supporters and 39 of them lost their lives.

It was a sad day for Liverpool Football Club and a tragic one for Juventus. Out of the tragedy though has spawned a friendship between the two clubs, and a lesson for those football fans who were involved surely learnt.

Rocco Acerra (29)
Bruno Balli (50)
Alfons Bos
Giancarlo Bruschera (21)
Andrea Casula (11)
Giovanni Casula (44)
Nino Cerullo (24)
Willy Chielens
Giuseppina Conto (17)
Dirk Daenecky
Dionisio Fabbro (51)
Jacques François
Eugenio Gagliano (35)
Francesco Galli (25)
Giancarlo Gonnelli (20)
Alberto Guarini (21)
Giovacchino Landini (50)
Roberto Lorentini (31)
Barbara Lusci (58)
Franco Martelli (22)
Loris Messore (28)
Gianni Mastroiaco (20)
Sergio Bastino Mazzino (38)
Luciano Rocco Papaluca (38)
Luigi Pidone (31)
Benito Pistolato (50)
Patrick Radcliffe
Domenico Ragazzi (44)
Antonio Ragnanese (49)
Claude Robert
Mario Ronchi (43)
Domenico Russo (28)
Tarcisio Salvi (49)
Gianfranco Sarto (47)
Amedeo Giuseppe Spolaore (55)
Mario Spanu (41)
Tarcisio Venturin (23)
Jean Michel Walla
Claudio Zavaroni (28)

R.I.P



Liverpool unveil a plaque to remember the 39 victims ahead of Saturday's 25th anniversary of the disaster.

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Marks Out Of Ten?

It was an interesting campaign this season, injuries played a bigger part than we had hoped, sometimes forcing players out of their positions. The lack of fitness also gave faces like David N'Gog, Daniel Pacheco and Sotirios Kyrgiakos the opportunity to shine, so in the 2009/2010 season, how do we think the lads did?

(Ratings for players who didn't really get a seasons worth of games will be based on their few performances.)

Pepe Reina

A superb season for the Spaniard between the sticks who was unfortunate to be part of a team who finished 7th in the league. After all his hard work Reina picked up the golden gloves award and shared it with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech after they both managed to keep 17 clean sheets in the league. Reina was ever present with his passion for the club and fans constantly on show along with several world class saves. His moment of weakness when he decided to follow the beach ball instead of the football blatantly pushed aside by his hard grafting performances week in week out. 10/10

Diego Cavalieri

Reina's understudy did not feature much this season with such competition from Liverpool's first choice goalkeeper. He did make a few appearances, notably against Leeds in the Carling Cup and against Fiorentina for the last group game of the Champions League. The Brazilian did well against Leeds managing to keep a clean sheet and put in a respectable performance against la viola. Games played also considered... 5/10

Emiliano Insua

The young left back is often a case of marmite for fans, everyone appreciates that he is still clearly learning his trade and in the toughest league of all but whilst some fans have been patient, others have become frustrated this season. He has however put in some good performances, some of which he has successfully provided pin point crosses for players like Gerrard to connect to, bearing in mind also the mistakes and amount of times he was caught off guard when tracking back it's a 6/10

Glen Johnson

His season was struck with injury and makes it harder to truly rate him out of ten. Despite the games he missed when he was present he was again something of a fan splitter. Opinions of him seemed to be either that he was a great buy or that he couldn't really defend but was good going forward. Nobody appeared to disagree that he had talent though. When he netted against Stoke and Bolton too he was welcomed with smiles from the Anfield faithful. Although i found him slightly disappointing at times i feel there is more to come from Glen and think he did okay in his first season so with that in mind... 6/10


Alberto Aquilani

When Benitez signed the Italian in the summer and fans learnt that he would not even be able to start the season due to injury the kopites were sceptical. This was okay, who wouldn't be sceptical? But the papers and media? That was something else, writing the man off before he'd even touched a ball. As he filtered into the side though and we began to see more of the attacking midfielder it was clear he had some skill, some passing nous and also wasn't scared to have a pop at goal. His goals against Portsmouth and Atletico Madrid, the latter of which sent the kop crazy only added to his plus side. All things considered and the fact that he missed a lot of the season through injury... 7/10

Daniel Agger

The big Dane never really entered the season until injury struck Martin Skrtel. The partnership between Martin and Jamie appeared to be favoured by the gaffa. Along with his own problem with the flaring up of a back injury it wasn't until early October when he started to appear more regularly in the back four. During the season he was also utuilised as a make shift left back after an injury to Emiliano Insua. The number 5 also grabbed a goal against Benfica in our Europa League run and all in all put in some steady and solid defensive displays. 7/10

Lucas Leiva

Unsung hero is the pairing of words i would choose to describe the young Brazilian. He never questions or moans about anything, even when he's dropped after a superb performance, he just gets his head down and gets on with it. After he shook off his scapegoat name tag and fans began to realise his potential, this season helped gain him even more support as he passed his way through oppositions midfield and defences, assisted and scored his way through the campaign. The cool, calm, almost Torres like dink past the keeper and slot in against Benfica perhaps highlighted the Brazillian's season. Very impressed... 9/10

Jamie Carragher

As far as opinions on players go, mine has never changed on the number 23 and probably never will in his time in a red shirt. At the start of the season when people were questioning whether he had past it, i just knew the Bootle boy hadn't lost it. After a wobbly start to the season (and it wasn't only himself) Carragher's performances began to pick up again. With his games filled with passionate displays, his famous last minute crunching tackles and even some threatening forward runs, he was a vital inclusion in the back four. 8/10

David N'Gog

The Frenchman got his chances when Fernando Torres was injured. Some chances he relished, some, he didn't. My personal memory of the season for N'Gog was his goal against Unirea as it was my first match at Anfield and therefore my first encounter of a Liverpool goal. For most however they will remember the iconic goal against Manchester United and the youngster being swamped by Pepe Reina. All in all it was a decent season for our back up striker, he disappointed at times but he had some effective performances.. 6/10

Jay Spearing

The local lad who had came up through the academy put a smile on everyone's face in the few times he was on the pitch. It would be totally unfair to give a mark out of ten based on so little games but just to continue with the theme of things i shall give him a mark in the middle of the ball park in the hope that i see more of the midfielder, i think he'd just need to settle in and become a lot more confident, after that who knows, he could shine. 5/10

Steven Gerrard

It was a strange season for our influential skipper, he hardly ever showed signs of the Gerrard we all know and love. At times it even appeared as though he'd given up, but then you'd see him celebrate a goal or the victory over Everton and his emotion all came flooding back, why was it this emotion was not fed directly to his feet and into his game? There's no arguing that his season despite all this was still more than satisfactory and he is still easily one of the best midfielders in the world but i think most would agree this wasn't his best campaign. His emphatic header against Wolves was probably my favourite piece of work from the captain for personal reasons. For his season in general... 7/10

Fernando Torres

Despite being injury prone throughout the 09/10 campaign the super Spaniard still managed a tally of 18 league goals and you just can't argue with that. Some magnificent craftwork i.e. the goal against Sunderland, his header against Manchester United and his 50th in the dying minutes against Aston Villa are just some of the highlights, not to mention his work on the pitch when he wasn't scoring. Another great season from the number 9 and even though he didn't play as many games as we would have liked i think the mark still has to be... 9/10

Albert Riera

It is an utter shame that the winger got invloved with a training pitch "situation" and said all the wrong things at the wrong time to the media because i was a big fan of his. I thought he added something to our side that no other player in the squad at the time being could. I constantly remember the pundits saying "Liverpool need width" etc etc and when Albert rocked up in town the critics seemed to quieten, he wasn't perfect and a lot of the time he was frustrating but i liked him. After January pretty much made certain that Riera would not feature for the rest of the season, we only have the earlier half to go on, bearing this in mind... 6/10

Fabio Aurelio

Fabio was another player who suffered with injury throughout the campaign and didn't manage to get many performances under his belt. He did manage to get some assists in his time on the turf and his play was more than acceptable whether he was on the wing or at left back. 6/10

Philipp Degen

Degen's season was inconsistent too and he also hardly featured, when he did he appeared to do nothing more than make mistakes. We are all aware of his pace and ability to make those attacking pacey runs from defence but by jove he can't defend. I can think of several occasions quite easily off the top of my head from last season where he was almost solely at fault for us nearly conceding or even actually conceding. His sending off at Fulham was unfortunate but his mixture of games just didn't do enough to impress me. 4/10

Nabil El Zhar

A difficult one for me to comment on really as i didn't think that when he featured he neccessarily did anything spectacular but at the same time, the majority of occasions, he didn't really do anything wrong. I've always been bewildered as how to comment on the Moroccan, he's clearly got something going for him but i think it's safe to say he'll never be a world beater. Based on some decent performances and sub appearances 5/10

Stephen Darby

With just three appearances under his belt it is hard to create a full opinion on the lad but from the small amounts that i saw i thought he looked promising in defence. On that... 5/10

Martin Kelly

Martin is much of the same of Stephen in terms of games played and ability to form a fair opinion, although i saw something a little more special from Kelly, he had a stormer against Lyon and it was such a shame when he picked up the injury. 6/10

Martin Skrtel

Yet another player subject to an injury cutting his season short. Skrtel after a great campaign last season in the heart of a solid defence made a good start to the 09/10 season. He's another one of those players who just seems to get on with it. Despite finding himself on several occasions with a chance at goal it appears he hasn't got the ability of accuracy and doesn't wear his shooting boots, only his defensive ones in a game of football. Satisified with the perforamances that he supplied but not overwhelmed. 7/10

Yossi Benayoun

Possibly one of Liverpool's most influential and skillful players. When the likes of Torres and Gerrard are unavailable he is exactly the kind of player who can nick you a goal and cause trouble, often under-rated i think. His hat trick against Burnley was perhaps the highlight of his season but his assists and ability to weave through pretty much any defence did not go unnoticed. Another player up there with the best of our season. 8/10

Sotirios Kyrgiakos

I'm pretty sure the big Greek wasn't even expecting to get any pitch time when he arrived at Anfield in August and many people laughed at the signing from the gaffa. But as the performances rolled in due to injuries to the back four the defender won the hearts of the Anfield faithful with his no nonsense style and passionate performances. His goal line clearance and crunching tackle with Fellani just some of the moments that helped him get brownie points from the fans and his goal against Stoke just sealed the deal. A breath of fresh air and a great season for Soto. 8/10

Maxi Rodriguez

The only January signing for Liverpool rocked up at Anfield from Spain and most people were eager to see him play. After becoming something of a regular for the second half of the season, i don't think many people will be able to think of any faults. He has pace, he's confident, he has an eye for that ball through or pin point cross and as proven against Burnley, he can score. Was more than pleased with his first stint as a Liverpool player. 7/10

Dirk Kuyt

Nobody will ever deny that Dirk gives 110% each and everytime he steps on the pitch for Liverpool, his commitment and effort is never questioned. His performances can vary and sometimes be a bit slapdash but you feel content because again, just in the case of Benayoun he is the type of player who can get you a goal and change a game. I think it was a respectful and long season for the Dutchman who started the majority of Liverpool games. His goals against Everton will always be welcomed with open arms and his brace against Spurs was fantastic. A good season from the number 18. 7/10

Ryan Babel

A player who needs to be spoken about in brutal honesty from my point of view, i shan't sit here and type as if i never did a rather harsh (although i still stick by it) Tumblr post about him after he decided to vent his feelings via Twitter before a super important game. However, i have always stuck by the fact that he clearly has potential, he just gets on my nerves, big time. Thankfully though, Babel after a talk with the manager appeared to begin to see the light, his attitude changed slightly and he started to just get stuck in instead of complaining, again his performances still make me think he is an impact player and i would rather start the likes of Yossi or Maxi, nevertheless Babel's season as a whole was ok. 6/10

Javier Mascherano

Another star man from Liverpool's season. Not afraid either to take up the job of right back on a few occasions the Argentinian was consistent and put it some fantastic performances. His efforts often go unnoticed as his job in midfield is sometimes a thankless one, he is a perfect link to the forwards but as we saw with his superb strike against Unirea he's also fond of a pop at goal himself. Another pretty much faultless season from the midfielder. 8/10

Daniel Pacheco

The flashes i have seen from this guy this season have filled me with hope. Whether its his instant impact when he steps onto the pitch and is confident enough to take a shot at goal or its his speed and agility, i feel he has superb potential and could be a great asset for Liverpool should we manage to keep hold of him. Based on the few times we saw him. 6/10

Daniel Ayala

The defender didn't feature much for Liverpool this season but Rafael Benitez clearly has confidence in the lad. I was very happy with his performance against Burnley in which he helped the defence keep a clean sheet. One certainly to keep an eye on. 5/10

Jack Robinson

He broke the record books as the youngest ever player to play for Liverpool FC, still in school studying it was refereshing to see an academy player given a chance even if it was only for 3minutes, i obviously can't give an opinion on the lad but seen as though he featured i had to keep in the theme of things and mention him, therefore i shall just award him an equal amount to the lowest score... 4/10

My thoughts on the players performances are obviously just a personal and not very detailed view, i don't expect everyone to agree. I apologise that some ratings may seem pointless and even unfair as some players barely even featured but i didn't want to miss anyone out who had played this season for Liverpool as some players i.e. Martin Kelly who impressed me a lot in the short time he played i felt deserved a mention and i therefore didn't feel i should leave anyone out.

What were your thoughts on the players for Liverpool's 09/10 campaign? You can copy&paste the list below and simply add in your ratings to leave in a comment...

Cavalieri /10
Johnson /10
Aquilani /10
Agger /10
Lucas /10
Insua /10
Carragher /10
Ngog /10
Reina /10
Spearing /10
Gerrard /10
Torres /10
Riera /10
Aurelio /10
Degen /10
El Zhar /10
Darby /10
Kelly /10
Skrtel /10
Benayoun /10
Kyrgiakos /10
Rodriguez /10
Kuyt /10
Babel /10
Mascherano /10
Ayala /10
Robinson /10

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Season Review... Pocket Sized.

So with the 09/10 campaign over and done with... thankfully so. Let's look back at Liverpool's season and some of the news articles that accompanied the times.

July/Early August 2009

After Rafa completed the signings of England international Glen Johnson, Italian Alberto Aquilani and the big Greek Sotirios Kyrgiakos at the end of the summer transfer window and we waved goodbye to the likes of Sami Hyypia, Alvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso to name a few, we started off the footballing season with some good old friendlies.
Glen Johnson Liverpool 2009/10

Little did Liverpool know that the coming results would pretty much spell out the season at the time. First came a 0-0 draw with St.Gallen then a loss to Rapid Vienna (1-0), followed by a draw with Thailand (1-1).

To finish their Far East tour in style Liverpool did manage to beat Singapore 5-0.

To end our pre-season friendlies we lost to Espanyol, beat SFK Lyn and unfortunately lost at home to Atletico Madrid (2-1) - a result that would later come back to haunt us in April although the goals were switched.

In the news...
The world had gone mad, swine flu fever had swept the country, tamiflu was being ordered by the crate load, doctor's surgery's were full to the rafters and hand gel saw it's sales figures go up by the millions.

Late August/Start Of Season 2009

Liverpool began the season with a trip to White Hart Lane and came away with a goal but were defeated 2-1. Steven Gerrard was the goalscorer.
Football - Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur Barclays Premier League

The next match saw Liverpool put 4 past Tony Pulis's Stoke side with Glen Johnson getting his first goal for the Reds. Liverpool were back to first day form though for the next tie in August when they fell to Aston Villa and lost 3-1.

A well fought victory ended August for the Reds after they battled to take all 3 points beating Bolton 3-2 away from home.

In the news...
Wildfires swept through Spain and other parts of Europe whilst evidence that haggis was invented by the English was unearthed.

September 2009

The Liver Bird was created and i made my first blog post - here.

Liverpool had a great month in September, winning 5 out of 6 games.

September contained the start of the Champions League group stages and also saw our first match in the Carling Cup. Our Premier League fixtures saw us beat Burnley 4-0, West Ham 3-2 and Hull 6-1 .
Fernando Torres Liverpool 2009/10
In the midst we also notched up a 1-0 victory over Debrecen but unfortunately failed to beat Fiorentina, it was an okay start to Liverpool's Champions League campaign, at the time it seemed acceptable.

In the news...
After a BBC expedition Scientists announced the discovery of 40 new species in Papua New Guinea, one of which was a giant rat. Actor Patrick Swayze died at the age of 57 after losing his battle with cancer.

October 2009

October was an eventful month to say the least, and by no means a happy one for Liverpool. Alberto Aquilani made his Liverpool debut but it was beach balls, red cards and another Champions League loss that made the headlines.
Football - Liverpool Training
A 2-0 loss to Chelsea was followed by the goal that will never leave us when Darren Bent was assisted by a giant red Liverpool beach ball to help Sunderland take all 3 points. Following this we were defeated when Lyon won 2-1 at Anfield in our third group game of the CL.

The only positive from the month was the emphatic win over Manchester United, 2 goals scored with no returns from the Devils. The iconic images of Reina running 80 yards to dive on goalscorer David N'Gog are perhaps the best moments of the whole campaign.
Following the victory over United we were sent out of the Carling Cup courtesy of Arsenal, left back Emiliano Insua scored a wonderful goal though. October ended with a horror show, on the 31st we faced Fulham and saw both Jamie Carragher and Philip Degen given red cards in the 3-1 loss.

In the news...
Irish citizens went to vote on the second referendum of the Lisbon Treaty. The Treaty was approved days later. President Barack Obama almost ironically wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

November 2009

Liverpool kicked off this month playing a crucial game against Lyon on my birthday, as i went to the pub in high spirits, the Reds only managed a draw, it wasn't devastating for our CL campaign but it certainly didn't help. The next two fixtures saw Liverpool pick up a brace of 2-2 draws, one against Birmingham perhaps remembered for the controversial David N'Gog penalty and the other an eventful affair against Manchester City.

November ended on some sort of high with a win over Debrecen and success over the other half of Merseyside as Kuyt scored the winner for the Reds.
Football - Liverpool v Everton Barclays Premier League
In the news...
The New York Yankees win the 2009 World Series. Somalia pirates were at large after receiving a $3.5million ransom upon returning hostages.

December 2009

The festive month for the Reds was one of mixed fortunes, disappointing results against Portsmouth (2-0) and Blackburn (0-0) were just the half of it after Benitez's boys lost to Fiorentina and were out of the Champions League.

Other results included a win over Wigan and a loss to Arsenal. To end the month Liverpool began their steady unbeaten run in the league against Wolves with Yossi Benayoun netting the winner. The last result of December was played in the winter snow, Fernando Torres scored in the dying minutes against Aston Villa to secure Liverpool the win and crown himself as the fastest ever Liverpool player to reach 50 goals for the club.
In the news...
USA was in the midst of a suspected terrorist attack after revelations on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. YouTube and Social Networks went crazy on the 21st of December with the now famous slogan "You don't bring a gun to a snowball fight." - a police officer from Washington D.C. was riled by crowds who had spontaneously organised a snow ball fight and were in good spirits throwing snowballs at people and cars, the officer eventually drew his gun to the shock of everyone present, nobody was harmed.

January 2010

January saw the Juventus rumours about targeting Rafa gain pace although he insisted it was just that - rumours. It also saw the signing of Argentinian Maxi Rodriguez along with our entry into the FA Cup, we were to face Reading.

After the first leg ended with a 1-1 draw, Reading came to Anfield, Liverpool were full of confidence and continuation in the FA Cup seemed more than feasible. Reading played well though and walked away with a 2-1 win over the Reds and that ended our FA Cup hopes.
Football - Liverpool v Reading FA Cup Third Round Replay
A draw with Stoke, emphatic 2-0 victory over Tottenham and a dreary 0-0 draw with Wolves saw us with one game left of the month to go to hold on to our unbeaten run. A Kuyt goal and a Kevin Davies mishap saw us beat Bolton 2-0.

In the news...
The Africa Cup Of Nations witnessed a tragedy after gunmen opened fire on the Togo national football team's coach. A devastating earthquake struck the country of Haiti causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. Britain was in full moan after the UK learnt it was suffering one of it's worst cold snaps in 20 years... Miraculously the snow melted eventually and everything was fine.

February 2010

February started with us completing the double over bitter blues Everton with a slim one nil victory. This was followed by defeat to Arsenal. Next up was our first game in the Europa League after we dropped down into the competition due to finishing only third in our Champions League group.

The game against Unirea was a poignant moment for myself as my regular blog readers will know as it was my first match at Anfield, my blog post about the one nil win was probably based more on the day than the match but people did seem to enjoy my ramblings.

February also saw us beat Big Sam's Blackburn (2-1) and collect a 0-0 draw against Manchester City plus another win over Unirea to ensure we progressed into the next stages of the Europa League.

In the news...
A major "fireball" was said to have lit up the Iceland sky to the bewilderment to citizens on the ground. The Winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver, Britain ended up coming away with just one gold medal courtesy of Amy Williams. The Chile earthquake saw devastation hit the country and a Pacific wide tsunami warning was issued.

March 2010

March saw the situation surrounding Albert Riera take another turn after the believed to be available loan move out to Russia fell apart. Liverpool managed one win over Lille and one loss in March which eventually ensured progress through the Europa League.

Along with wins over Portsmouth (4-1) and Sunderland (3-0), it was the poor defeat to Wigan and disheartening loss to Manchester United that had fans discussing what on earth was happening to their football club on the pitch.
Premier League: Manchester United 2 v 1 Liverpool
Fernando Torres scored a superb goal against our Manchester rivals and for a while it looked like the dream of doing the double from last season was back again, however a goal from Ji Sung Park ended any fantasies.

In the news...
Plans to close BBC6 and the BBC Asian Network were introduced. Ships in the Baltic Sea carrying passengers were stuck in thick ice and had to be rescued. Didier Drogba was named African footballer of the year. Red shirt anti government protesters step up their efforts in Thailand.

April 2010

April saw two lots of Europa League ties for the Reds. The first of which was against Benfica - we lost 2-1 and the second leg we won 4-1. Again it was untidy but Liverpool found themselves in the semi finals of the competition. Sandwiched between the two European ties we picked up two draws against Birminghan and Fulham.

After the draw with Fulham gave our hopes of finishing in the 4th a massive blow we successfully managed to beat West Ham 3-0 with goals from Yossi Benayoun and David N'Gog, we knew that we needed a miracle to get that last Champions League place and a win in all of our remaining games was the only way.

Either side of the 4-0 win over Burnley were the two fixtures against Atletico Madrid, star striker Fernando Torres missed out on both occasions against his former employers due to injury.

The first leg was very disappointing for Liverpool after a very scrappy goal from Diego Forlan was the only goal in the game. The match at Anfield was set up to be a special night, the atmosphere was there but unfortunately the result was not. After Liverpool took the lead and also scored a second goal without return from Atletico, it was Forlan again who in extra time broke the hearts of Kopites all over the land and sent the Spaniards through to the final on the away goals rule.
Liverpool vs Athletico Madrid
In the news...
The whole of the UK and most of Europe was brought to a standstill after the continued eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland sent ash high into the atmosphere, risk to aircraft and ultimately lives meant that airspace was closed, passengers were stranded and Liverpool themselves were also caught out having to make the majority of the trip to Spain via trains and coaches. Crude oil in the Gulf Of Mexico begins to pour into the ocean after the collapse of an oil platform. Don't Push It wins the Grand National with jockey Tony McCoy recording victory in the race for the first time.

May 2010

Football - Hull City v Liverpool Barclays Premier League

The end to the season saw Liverpool lose to Chelsea (2-0) and effectively hand the title to the Londoners. One thing Liverpool can look back and laugh at is the misfortune of Manchester United who cannot boast 19 league titles and Liverpool keep hold of their joint record breaking 18 for another season. The last game of the season was a bore 0-0 draw with Hull, somewhat encapsulating the style and fortunes of the whole season for Liverpool.

In the news...
The UK General election ends in a hung parliament, after days of meetings the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats form a coalition meaning David Cameron is Primer Minister with Nick Clegg as his deputy. Jamie Carragher makes a shock comeback to international football as Fabio Capello names him in his initial 30 man squad for the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

June/July

Trying to guess what may happen in these months for the club is unthinkable, no-one knows whether the appointment of Broughton will bring new investors in, although we all hope to see the back of Hicks and Gillett as soon as possible.
Shareholders Attend British Airways Annual AGM
We still don't know whether Mr.Benitez will be at the helm. Some say we can't even guarantee that we will still have the likes of Gerrard and Torres playing their football at Anfield next season.

Will the manager, whoever it may be get a transfer kitty? Will they be able to target players they actually want or will it be Purslow handling things?

Who knows... All we can do is hope for the best.

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What was your favourite moment from the 2009/2010 campaign for Liverpool? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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Monday, 10 May 2010

Liverpool End 09/10 Season With A Draw

Sports News - March 19, 2010
My player of the season for Liverpool...

It wasn't a superb end to the campaign nor was it necessarily entertaining and although it was disappointing, it just didn't seem relevant in the midst of the managerial uncertainty and financial situation currently faced by the football club we all hold so dear.

There were some positives to highlight but whist Chelsea were banging in 8 against Wigan and United still managed to net 4 against Stoke despite the fact they missed out on the title, it was another example pointing out the ever increasing gap between Liverpool and the current battle-axes at the top of the table.

Going into the game Liverpool were already aware that the best possible finish in sight was 6th, this was also providing that the Aston Villa result went their way, with that in mind, the lads had that and the prospect of finishing on a high note as the incentives.

It was a decent first half from Liverpool with some lively play and a few attempts at goal. Notable efforts included a fizzing shot from Moroccan Nabil El Zhar, a Dirk Kuyt header and arguably the closest we came in the match when Alberto Aquilani saw his effort clip the cross bar, unfortunately when the ball came out to Daniel Agger the defender could do nothing but send the effort wide.

Hull were also giving it 110%, players like Mendy and Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink were providing problems for the defence and Pepe Reina. In fairness, Hull probably deserved to be ahead but Liverpool continued to hold the clean sheet.

The second half was much more gritty, both sides were getting stuck in with bad challenges and free kicks galore.

By the hour mark, Rafa decided to make his first substitution bringing Frenchman David N'Gog on to replace the lively El Zhar. N'Gog in his time featured was perhaps disappointing in front of goal but again his ability to hold up play and pass the ball made sure he added enough to the second half display.

As the minutes ticked by it was becoming quite clear that this game was destined to be goalless but obviously no side was content with that. In attempt to change things and add some fresh legs Benitez introduced starlet Pacheco and also record breaking Jack Robinson - at the age of sixteen the left back became Liverpool's youngest ever player to feature in a first team game. I'm sure we all hope to see him progress well.

And that was pretty much that, even a passionate powerful run from the captain late into the 90minutes didn't create much more than a shot just wide of goal, portraying pretty much the story of the game and in some ways the season for Liverpool and the number 8.

Finishing in 7th is obviously terrible to look at, we haven't finished as low as that since the 98/99 season, but what people need to realise is that this was already written in the stars, it was only a matter of time before a thin Liverpool squad actually finished in a league position that represented the situation.

Some people may try to blame Benitez solely, they are quite simply wrong. Some people may try to blame the Yanks solely, they are also quite simply wrong. It was a disaster of a recipe for a while and without investment, no manager will be able to turn around Liverpool's fortunes on the pitch.

With the World Cup in the summer also having fans on tenterhooks about the fitness of players like Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano it will surely be a strange summer for Liverpool fans.

The sooner we find a suitable investor the better, but even so, there is no quick fix for the situation, next season could be just as poor as this one, i'm just thankful that we managed to remain in Europe because lord only knows what could of happened, trying to attract players from abroad without the possibility of playing in Europe is more than difficult.

So let's just hope that the future holds good news for Liverpool Football Club, nobody wants a miracle, we just crave stability.

To end on, congratulations to Pepe Reina who is joint winner of the 2010 golden gloves award matching with Petr Cech for 17 clean sheets in the season.

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Thanks again for reading all season folks, really enjoyed myself.

I hope to be posting about transfers in the summer, hopefully not just outgoings.

I also hope to do at least one more "Past Players" feature at some stage. You can read my other two attempts here & here.

I hope to think of some fresh ideas too, possibly considering doing a paragraph by paragraph post for each month of last season to create some sort of pocket sized season review.

Who knows, but have a lovely summer folks! And as always, feel free to pester me at www.twitter.com/LFCKirstyLFC

P.s. thanks to www.lfc-news.co.uk for teaming up with me towards the end of the season, hope to remain partners into the future.

YNWA

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Saturday, 8 May 2010

Can Iain Dowie End Hull's Season On A High?

Europa League: Liverpool 2 v 1 Atletico Madrid
Whatever Benitez's future holds, i wish him all the best...

With both teams faced with little more incentive than pride for tomorrow's fixture in Humberside it is a hard one to predict. Liverpool do have the slight hope that they could finish the season in 6th should Aston Villa falter against Blackburn but that is quite simply all we have going.

With all the speculation around the manager at the moment and after yesterday's attempts by forum members and Twitterers alike to show their support for Mr. Rafael Benitez, it could be the last time we see the Spaniard in charge of our Liverpool side. Not only this but after financial records were released, also yesterday, it is quite clear the state that Liverpool football club is in and the need for new owners/investment is becoming evermore apparent.

The summer should be an interesting and nervy time for all who are involved at Liverpool football club. Mr. Broughton is not expecting it to be easy to find a suitable buyer in such a short period of time, which leaves us faced with a conundrum...

Do we sell to the first highest bidder providing he seems "legitimate" or do we wait and hope that the financial situation remains relatively stable whilst results on the pitch also remain acceptable and then sell to the perfect purchaser.

For Hull tomorrow they only have two injury worries. Jimmy Bullard along with Caleb Folan are both concerns after missing training on Friday.

Everyone knows what a key feature and juggernaut Jimmy Bullard has been to a struggling Hull side but on the last day of the season when they are playing for nothing, it shouldn't matter too much that they are missing their main man.

As for Liverpool, our injury list still remains as long as ever, Skrtel, Kelly, Insua, Aurelio and Fernando Torres will all miss out on Liverpool's last game of the season.

It may not mean anything but Liverpool fans everywhere will be looking for the boys in Red to end the season on a high. After hammering Hull 6-1 earlier in the season when they were still under Phil Brown it was one of those games that Liverpool thought was a turning point, unfortunately afterwards we went on a losing streak, failing to beat Fiorentina and then losing in the Premier League to Chelsea and Sunderland after the now famous beach ball goal.

It's been a funny season for Liverpool but under circumstances, it was only a matter of time without investment that the dizzy heights of finishing with our best points total ever in the Premier League last season and the excitment of being in a title race came crashing back down to shake us to reality.

Liverpool football club has always been successful and it's feasible to say that we will continue to pick up the odd league cup here and FA Cup there, but so long as we remain crippled by what the two American's upstairs have done to our club, the longer we will be without that elusive Premier League title.

On a lighter note, i would just like to say to all my readers that i have totally enjoyed doing my blog this season. When i started it up almost without a serious thought of keeping it going back in September, i had no idea how Liverpool fans would react to it, after all i was totally amateur and still am. I also never realised how much fun it could be to keep a blog going and listen to feedback, debate with fans etc etc.

Twitter has been a massive asset for me too and i must thank all my followers who continue to stop by the blog and constantly are there to discuss the latest Liverpool events and stories.

I would write this blog now if nobody read it, it's became a hobby, but it means so much to know that people do actually enjoy it, i know sometimes my posts are a bit sloppy and i know i'm not exactly one who is filled with facts or can give you stats on how many goals per game Daniel Pacheco has scored for the reserves... But i do try!

So i would just like to thank you all again, it will be quite sad to do my last match report of the season on Monday, but let's just hope that the 2010/2011 season will supply both me and you with more success to write about!

YNWA

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Monday, 3 May 2010

Liverpool Fail To Beat Chelsea In Last Home Game Of The Season

Sunderland Vs. Manchester United
The only plus side to yesterday's result was how grumpy Fergie was...

The conspiracy theories were out yesterday and in full force after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Chelsea. With Steven Gerrard effectively setting up Didier Drogba with a poorly judged back pass to Pepe Reina and iron man Jamie Carragher insisting that he could not go on, the folks in Manchester were adamant that we had rolled over for the London side.

Just the typical characteristics of a Manchester United fan though isn't it that? Thinking we did it to spite them?

Fact is we just weren't good enough, not many people thought we would be able to do it anyway and with the minimal pressure on the Chelsea goal it was never going to be Liverpool's day.

Liverpool's only shot on target came courtesy of Dutchman Dirk Kuyt but it was the Aquilani screamer that almost had everyone jumping out of their seats.

A great speculative effort from outside the box from the Italian which clipped the top of the bar as the Chelsea defence and Petr Cech began to look relieved.

Chelsea's first goal was a big disappointment for Liverpool fans after it was quite simply undeserved, Reina had no chance when Steven Gerrard made the mistake of laying a back pass when Didier Drogba was still loitering near the Liverpool box.

One nil down but the atmosphere at Anfield was a strange one, of course most fans wanted to win for sake of not turning into a club that cares more about a rival than their own pride but in all honesty with 4th looking almost impossible anyway, it wasn't necessarily a sad feeling to be losing, more so an "ah well".

Liverpool also had to make an early substitution after the impressive Maxi Rodriguez appeared to pick up a problem near half time. Ryan Babel replaced the number 17..

Before the second goal the only other real highlight of Liverpool's display was a superb late tackle from Kyrgiakos to deny Solomon Kalou an Anfield goal.

Chelsea's second again seemed to be smothered with cause for complain from the Red Devil fans in Sunderland after Jamie Carragher the man who will always remain on the field if he thinks he can, appeared to be injured.

After slowing up and left with nothing to do but claim offside Carragher was out of the box when the ball was whipped in to Frank Lampard. Yossi Benayoun did the best he could but the midfielder converted and sent the Blues 2-0 up.

Shortly after the goal the passionate number 23 had to leave the pitch and young Spaniard Daniel Ayala took his role.

As the match continued with no real threat from Liverpool it wasn't exactly a poor performance against a title fighting Chelsea side but it certainly wasn't spectacular. David N'Gog replaced Aquilani in the dying minutes but the young Frenchman could not find Liverpool a consolation goal.

A match to forget for Liverpool and the end of the season can't come quicker for us. With the injury list getting even bigger, the chance of 4th place completely gone, the fact that the likes of Hicks and Gillett are still at the helm and the growing speculation that Rafael Benitez will not be in charge for the 2010/2011 season it is a worrying thought as to what the coming months could bring.

With Hull up next it would be nice to finish the season off with a win and then we can just put this all behind us and move on.

One thing you realise when times are tough at Liverpool and when things aren't going perfectly, the real fans are always there, debating and discussing with heart and feel for the club. Having a good old conversation and helping each other life their spirits.

There's always one fickle fan though for every fan who bleeds Liverpool FC, with each moan and each jibe, they seem to totally miss the real picture. I for one hope the trials and tribulations this season gets rid of some of the stragglers.

2010/2011 - Whatever it may hold for our football club could be the season in which it needs the most support.

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Saturday, 1 May 2010

Beat The Blues

Sports News - March 27, 2010
Anelka scored against us earlier in the season...

Liverpool are well in need of a remedy to fix the blues after being knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. A win would at least restore some pride even though the lads should not be ashamed of their fantastic efforts against Atletico Madrid.

This fixture of course poses quite an interesting series of possible events depending on the outcome.

Firstly, and most importantly, a win would keep Liverpool in touch with fading hopes of 4th place, anything less and we kiss that chance goodbye.

Secondly, and quite worryingly more important to some fans is the fact that should Liverpool lose, they will probably end up handing the title to bitter rivals Manchester United. Not only this but it would mean that the Red Devils would finally overtake Liverpool's long standing record of 18 league titles.

As gutting as it is to even think about the amount of gloating and stick we will all have to put up with if they manage to do it, i still think it is vital that the Liverpool result that is best for our football club comes first.

However, it will be hard not to smile at the upside should we lose at Anfield tomorrow. I just wish Sunderland could pull something out the bag, then that would muck everything up.

Kuyt and N'Gog thankfully have been removed from the Liverpool injury list but still out are Skrtel, Kelly, Insua, Aurelio and Torres.

Chelsea's only real absence is that of John Obi Mikel, other regulars all appear to be available.

After Kalou gained a hat trick in their 7-0 romping of Stoke it will be interesting to see which striker or partnership Ancelotti fields for this one.

In terms of our team i think it is highly probable after the long game on Thursday night that some players will be shuffled or start from the bench.

It would be great to see Maxi start again and so too Aquilani, although i get the feeling he may be rested with Lucas and Mascherano partnering in midfield.

Key players for Liverpool in the match are going to be the likes of Steven Gerrard in terms of driving the team, Benayoun if he starts to supply that flair which is much needed against a side like Chelsea and possibly Jamie Carragher to help command a close knit and solid defence.

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